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Robredo urges organized system for sending home locally stranded individuals

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday urged the government to organize its system for sending home locally stranded individuals (LSIs) following the death of a single mother who waited days on a footbridge to catch a bus ride from Metro Manila to Bicol.

In her weekly radio show, Robredo lamented how LSIs have no idea who to call or where to go in order to get home to their respective provinces.

“Iyong atin lang pakiusap, iorganisa natin iyong tamang impormasyon: Saan ba pupunta iyong mga na-stranded, iyong mga papunta bang Mindanao saan sila pupunta,” she said.

Michelle Silvertino, 33, died on June 5 after five days of living on a footbridge along EDSA-Pasay in the hopes of catching a ride back to Calabanga, Camarines Sur, where her four children live with her kin. 

Robredo said Silvertino had already been scheduled by the Pasay City government to leave for Bicol through a bus ride provided by the Office of the Vice President, but the victim died a day before the date of departure.

“Dapat sana hindi na nangyari ito. Kasi kung alam ng tao kung saan siya pupunta, kailan siya pupunta, hindi na sana siya naghintay nang napakatagal para sa biyahe,” she said.

“Pero ilan pa ba iyong magiging ganito kapag hindi maayos iyong sistema? Kapag hindi maayos iyong sistema, ang dami pang ganito,” Robredo added.

Malacañang earlier said it was saddened by Silvertino's death and vowed to find ways to ensure that no Filipino meets the same fate again. 

As of June 7, over 100 LSIs had been camping outside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for days while waiting for their flights, which had been canceled and rebooked several times. 

Hundreds of LSIs stranded at the airport have since been transferred to  temporary shelters by the government and troops.  — Julia Mari Ornedo/BM, GMA News